Music for the Community

 
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Monday, June 15 2020 00:00

Day 51 - The Happy Farmer

Violinist age 8 plays "The Happy Farmer"

German composer and pianist Robert Schumann lived from 1810 to 1856. He was a brilliant pianist and intended to make a career as a perfomer. Unfortunately a hand injury put an end to that idea, so thereafter he focused on composing. 

Meanwhile, he had fallen in love with his piano teacher's daughter, Clara Wieck - herself a wonderful pianist - but her father was very opposed to their marriage. Robert eventually won out, though, and married her in 1840 after a court battle.

By 1848 he and Clara had three young daughters (they eventually had eight children, seven of whom survived). He composed a collection of 43 easy piano pieces for them, "Album for the Young", and The Happy Farmer is one of these pieces. As with our other singalong songs, the words reflect the musical structure, which is little unusual here: A1 - A1 - B - A2 - B - A2, with the A section having two different endings. The B section is very short: the farmer (A) barely lets his wife (B) get a word in edgewise before interrupting her again!

(A 1) The happy farmer loves to plow his fields;
He rides his great big tractor with its big green wheels.
 
(A 1) The happy farmer loves to plow his fields;
He rides his great big tractor with its big green wheels.
 
(B ) His wife is quiet, and very small and neat -
 
(A 2)  The happy farmer loves to plow his fields;
He rides his great big tractor with its round, red seat.
 
(B ) His wife is quiet, and very small and neat -
 
(A 2) The happy farmer loves to plow his fields;
He rides his great big tractor with its round, red seat.
 
If you listen carefully to the piano part, you'll also hear the farmyard chickens going "cheep-cheep" in the background!
Read 206 times Last modified on Monday, June 15 2020 13:16